ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have done an outstanding job of limiting opponents' shots on goal this season, leading the NHL by allowing just 23.7 shots per game.
As the Edmonton Oilers proved Tuesday night, however, it's not the number of shots which is important -- it's the number of shots that go in the net that counts.
The Oilers scored three times on their first seven shots and got a stellar performance from goalie Nikolai Khabibulin in beating the Blues 3-0, snapping St. Louis' home winning streak at four games and giving Edmonton its first win in four games.
Jordan Eberle scored twice and Taylor Hall knocked in a rebound of a shot by Eberle to give the Oilers only their second win in their last 14 games against the Blues and first since Dec. 11, 2009. Hall also earned assists on both of Eberle's goals.
Khabibulin stopped all 43 St. Louis shots, including a point-blank save on a shot early in the second period by David Perron, which could have tied the game at 1. That save was followed only seconds later by Eberle's second goal of the game, 3:26 into the second period.
Less than two minutes later, Eberle's attempt for the hat trick was stopped by goalie Jake Allen, but he left the rebound right in front of the open net and Hall knocked it home for the 3-0 Edmonton lead.
At that point the Blues pulled Allen, who had lost only two of his first 10 games this season, and sent Jaroslav Halak in for the remainder of the game, but by then it was too late for the Blues to recover.
The Blues, who have limited their opponents to less than 20 shots in each of their last four games, could not get the puck past Khabibulin, who stopped 21 shots in the second period alone, including turning back David Backes on a breakaway attempt.
The shutout was the 46th in Khabibulin's career and his first since Nov. 3, 2011. It also was his first career shutout against the Blues.
In their last two games, losses to Calgary and Edmonton, the Blues outshot their opponents 80-36 but were outscored 6-2.
NOTES: The Oilers placed forward Eric Belanger on injured reserve after he had to come out of Monday night's game in Nashville in the second period because of a groin injury. ... The Blues came into the game in seventh place in the Western Conference standings while Edmonton was five points out of a playoff spot. Both teams have 16 games remaining in the regular season, but the Blues' playoff chances will be enhanced by playing nine of their final 16 games at home, including seven of the final eight. ... Both teams will be back in action on Thursday night, with the Blues hosting the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton returning home to play Vancouver.